If the Hantsport Shamrocks do not make the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League playoffs this season, this weekend’s 9-7 loss to the Shelburne County Schooners could be the game that haunts them.
The Schooners were in the Haven of Hospitality for a doubleheader July 13.
The Schooners had runners at first and second in the top of the fifth inning, with one out, when a ground ball was hit to Hantsport’s third baseman Adrian Lloy. He fielded the ball cleanly and stepped on third for the force out.
For reasons still unexplained, the base umpire thought the Shelburne runner had to be tagged and called him safe at third, which in turn loaded the bases.
The Schooners exploded for eight runs in the fifth inning.
Following the game, Hantsport’s coach Jeff Bishop was unimpressed with mistakes being allowed to stand that affect the outcome of a game.
“Don't get me wrong, their work is appreciated in many cases but they are also earning money doing the games and when mistakes as obvious as the one on Sunday at third are left to stand, it raises a lot of questions,” he said.
As for the game, after falling behind 9-2, the Shamrocks rallied with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning but couldn’t tie it up.
Dryden Schofield was the losing pitcher for the Shamrocks.
Shamrocks blow out Shelburne in Game 2
The Shamrocks got back to the .500 level as they destroyed the Schooners in the second game, which was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Hantsport scored four times in the first inning and then scored six more in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to clutch hitting from Roland Provencal, who sliced a pair of two-run doubles. Adrian Lloy's RBI double in the first inning was his first of three hits in the second game.
Matt Lloy pithed four innings in getting the win, while allowing only a single hit.
“Every game we have lost this season, we seem to fall part in a certain inning and it ends up costing us,” said team spokesperson Deron Moores when asked about the Shamrocks being in fifth place.
“We are still trying to find what kind of team we truly are and which players are suitable for certain positions.”
Moores said they haven’t “pushed the panic button yet” but are well aware of the standings and the pending playoffs
He said the players will be coming to the park with a good attitude this weekend when they play two doubleheaders. They are in action on Saturday and Sunday, with the Sunday bout being a make up game with the Yarmouth Gateways.
If they secure wins, that would move them up in the standings substantially.
Knights sweep Braves in sunny doubleheader
The Windsor Knights have moved back into second spot in the NSIBL standings following a weekend sweep over the Kennetcook Braves.
In the first game, the Knights beat the Braves 9-3.
The Knights cracked 10 hits off the Kennetcook pitching staff, including an RBI double from Ryan Clarke.
Pitcher Jason Hanes allowed eight hits in going the distance for Windsor, who scored twice in both the third, fourth and sixth innings while plating three runs in the fifth.
Ronnie Ettinger was the losing pitcher for the Braves. Tyler Singer and Travis Winchcombe both collected a pair of hits for the Braves.
In the second game, the Knights held on to defeat the Braves 5-3.
The Knights scored twice in the second inning and added three more runs in the third inning after falling behind 3-0 after the first.
Clarke was the winning pitcher for the Knights. He gave up eight hits.
Singer pitched a little more than five innings for the Braves, who received two of their hits from Chad Bartlett.
The Braves have five games remaining in the regular season in order to collect their first win.
Blue Jays blank Knights 3-0
Earlier in the week, the Noel Road Blue Jays took on the Windsor Knights for an evening bout.
The Blue Jays struck for a pair of first inning runs July 9 on Noel Road.
The Blue Jays went on to win 3-0.
Justin Campbell pitched the win for the Blue Jays, allowing five hits, while Aaron McPhee collected a pair of hits in a winning cause.
The following are local NSIBL games this week:
• Wednesday, July 16 — Windsor Knights versus Noel Road Blue Jays (single game at the Noel Road ball field at 7 p.m.)
• Saturday, July 19 — Hantsport Shamrocks versus Kennetcook Braves (doubleheader at the Noel Road ball field at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
• Saturday July 19 — Noel Road Blue Jays versus Windsor Knights (doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Tremain Crescent in Windsor)
• Sunday July 20 — Yarmouth Pub Gateways versus Hantsport Shamrocks (doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Hantsport)
The following is the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League standings (as of Sunday, July 13, 2014)
1. Pictou County Albions, 12 wins, five losses — 41 points
2. Windsor Knights, nine wins, four losses — 31 points
3. Yarmouth Pub Gateways, eight wins, four losses — 28 points
4. Noel Road Blue Jays, eight wins, four losses — 28 points
5. Hantsport Shamrocks, six wins, six losses — 24 points
6. Shelburne Schooners, five wins, seven losses — 22 points
7. Kennetcook Braves, no wins, 19 losses — 19 points
Note: Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a loss. The Top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs.